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Propaganda 101: The New York Times pumps another ‘evil Russia’ plot

The “newspaper of record” New York Times arguably holds the record for peddling anti-Russia scare stories. This week the NY Times delivered yet another classic spook tale dressed as serious news.

Among its splash articles, under the headline ‘Top Secret Russian Unit Seeks to Destabilize Europe, Security Officials Say’, readers were told of an elite Russian spy team which has, allegedly, only recently been discovered.

It’s called “Unit 29155” and purportedly directed by the Kremlin to “destabilize Europe” with “subversion, sabotage and assassination.”

According to the NY Times, this crack squad of Russia’s most ruthless military intelligence agents were involved in an attempted assassination of an arms dealer in Bulgaria in 2015; the destabilization of Moldova; a failed coup against the Montenegrin government; and the alleged poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in England last year.

The article states: “Western security officials have now concluded that these operations, and potentially many others, are part of a coordinated and ongoing campaign to destabilize Europe, executed by an elite unit inside the Russian intelligence system skilled in subversion, sabotage and assassination.”

The NY Times adds: “The purpose of Unit 29155, which has not been previously reported, underscores the degree to which the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, is actively fighting the West with his brand of so-called hybrid warfare — a blend of propaganda, hacking attacks and disinformation — as well as open military confrontation.”

This is all because, the readers are told, “The Kremlin sees Russia as being at war with a Western liberal order that it views as an existential threat.”

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Trump "The Military Industrial Complex They Like Fighting! They Make A LOT Of Money When They Fight"

Entangling alliances make for forever wars

In March of 2018, US president Donald Trump promised “we’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon.” That December, he issued an order to begin withdrawing US troops. Apparently, the order never got executed. Most of a year later, US forces remain.

Now Trump and his opponents are arguing over his decision to move a few dozen of those troops around within Syria, to get them out of the way of a Turkish invasion force massing on the border. Both sides are pretending that a tiny troop movement constitutes the supposed withdrawal he ordered last December.

This minor situation illustrates a major problem  that two early presidents warned us about.

“It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world,” George Washington said in his farewell address.

Four years later, Thomas Jefferson called for “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none” in his inaugural address.

I wonder what Washington and Jefferson would think of the continued presence of US troops in Europe and Japan 75 years after the end of World War Two, or in South Korea 66 years after the ceasefire on that peninsula?

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Impeachment Line of Succession: Trump, Pence... then Kushner?

In Major Policy Shift, US Pulls Out Of Syria Ahead Of 'Imminent' Turkish Invasion

In a major policy shift that abandons nearly a decade of American policy in Syria, the White House announced late Sunday night that US forces in northern Syria would step aside to allow a planned Turkish offensive. The decision follows late-night haggling between President Trump and President Erdogan, who had threatened a "land and air" offensive "as soon as today or tomorrow."

In a last-minute phone call yesterday, Erdogan and Trump agreed to meet in Washington next month to discuss Turkey's uneasiness with Washington and its ability to do what is required according to an agreement between the two countries about security in northeastern Syria.

Instead, a few hours later, the Trump administration released the following statement shortly before midnight. The administration reportedly refused to clarify whether the remaining US troops left in Syria would be withdrawn. 

Washington said it would also turn over all captured ISIS fighters to Turkey after their home countries refused to take them back.

"Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey by telephone. Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial "Caliphate," will no longer be in the immediate area.

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Who Is Behind the Manufacturing and Branding of Greta Thunberg?

China's Anniversary Parade Reveals New Weapons That Will Influence U.S. Strategies

The People's Republic of China held a great parade (3h video, shorter version with comments) to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding. Some interesting new weapons were on display that are of strategic significance.

China has, like Russia and Iran, used the decades the U.S. military wasted with counter insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan to build strength where the U.S. military has weaknesses. Those weaknesses are most visible in the Navy:

New classes of quiet diesel submarines and new developments in mine and torpedo technology make operations close to tense coastlines far more dangerous today than in the past. As a result, U.S. aircraft carriers are no longer immune from risk when entering waters within range of enemy forces.
More serious still is the deployment of Russian and Chinese area denial systems, like the so-called carrier killer DF-21 antiship missile developed in the last decade by China. Its range of over 1,000 miles far outstrips the range of any warplane on U.S. flight decks today. Sailing a U.S. carrier strike force through the Taiwan Strait these days—in a show of support for pro-democracy forces in Hong Kong, for instance—would risk catastrophe.

Iran does not yet possess anything as sophisticated as China’s DF-21. However, its domestically produced Noor antiship missile (itself a reverse-engineered rip-off of an earlier Chinese cruise missile) is dangerous at over 100 miles. [...] The combination of these missiles and Iran’s fleet of fast and cheap patrol boats has been enough to keep the USS Lincoln out of the Persian Gulf as tensions between Iran and the United States increased this summer.

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Three Saudi Brigades Annihilated in Devastating Houthi Offensive in Saudi Arabia

Many may have hitherto been led to believe that the Houthis were a ragtag armed force lacking in sophistication. Many, seeing the drone and missile attacks on Saudi oil plants, may have declared it to be a false-flag attack carried out by Riyadh to boost Aramco’s market value; either that or it was an operation carried out by Iran or even Israel. On Saturday September 28, the Houthis put paid to such speculation by confirming what many, like myself, have been writing for months; that is, that the asymmetrical tactics of the Houthis, combined with the conventional capabilities of the Yemeni army, are capable of bringing the Saudi kingdom of Mohammed Bin Salman to its knees.

The Yemeni army’s missile forces are able to carry out highly complex attacks, no doubt as a result of reconnaissance provided by the local Shia population within the Kingdom that is against the House of Saud’s dictatorship. These Houthi sympathisers within Saudi Arabia helped in target identification, carried out reconnaissance within the plants, found the most vulnerable and impactful points, and passed this intelligence on to the Houthis and Yemeni army. These Yemeni forces employed locally produced means to severely degrade Saudi Arabia’s crude-oil-extraction and processing plants. The deadly strikes halved oil production and threatened to continue with other targets if the Saudi-conducted genocide in Yemen did not stop.

On Saturday 29 the Houthis and the Yemeni army conducted an incredible conventional attack lasting three days that began from within Yemen’s borders. The operation would have involved months of intelligence gathering and operational planning. It was a far more complex attack than that conducted against Aramco’s oil facilities. Initial reports indicate that the forces of the Saudi-led coalition were lured into vulnerable positions and then, through a pincer movement conducted quickly within Saudi territory, the Houthis surrounded the town of Najran and its outskirts and got the better of three Saudi brigades numbering in the thousands and including dozens of senior officers as well as numerous combat vehicles. This event is a game changer, leaving the US, Mike Pompeo and the Israelis and Saudis unable to lay the blame on Iran as all this took place a long way from Iran.

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Scott Ritter on WMD inspections

9/11 Truth: World Trade Center Building Seven Was A ‘Controlled Implosion’. CNBC Anchor Ron Insana

On the 18th anniversary of 9/11, CNBC senior analyst and former anchor Ron Insana went on Bernie and Sid In the Morning on New York’s 77 WABC Radio to share his haunting experience of that horrible day.

Approximately eight minutes into the interview, Insana made a statement regarding the 47-story World Trade Center Building 7 — which collapsed late in the afternoon of 9/11 — that is truly stunning, especially considering his access to the scene and his job as a prominent news anchor:

“Well, remember 7 World Trade had not yet come down. And so when I went down to the [New York Stock] Exchange that Wednesday morning [September 12], I was standing with some military and police officers, and we were looking over in that direction. And if it had come down in the way in which it was tilting, it would have wiped out everything from where it stood to Trinity Church to the Exchange to, effectively, you know, the mouth of the Hudson. And so there were still fears that if that building had fallen sideways, you were going to wipe out a good part of Lower Manhattan. So they did manage for one to take that down in a controlled implosion later on. And the Exchange was up and running the following Monday.” [Emphasis added.]

Before addressing questions about Insana’s timeline, let us establish the aspects of his story that are clear and unambiguous. First, he clearly identifies Building 7 as the building he is talking about. Second, he clearly states that Building 7 was taken down in a “controlled implosion,” which flatly contradicts the official explanation that it collapsed due to office fires.

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Deception, Espionage & Totalitarianism—The Communist China Threat to US National Security

US Should Support Israeli Land Grabs Say AIPAC Think-Tankers

It is always worthwhile to monitor – before it’s too late – policy recommendations emerging from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC ecosystem. Since 1984 that ecosystem includes AIPAC’s associated think tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Two WINEP thought leaders are currently advancing a serious proposal for the US to help Israel avert the fate of becoming a "bi-national state." It’s a two-step process. First the US would formally recognize Israeli sovereignty over large Israeli-annexed West Bank settlement blocs. Then the U.S. would use its powers of persuasion to win European, U.N. and Arab acceptance of the deal, all the while giving Israel billions more in foreign assistance.

All of these policy prescriptions appear in the new Dennis Ross/David Makovsky book, Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped its Destiny. Dennis Ross worked on the "peace process" within US government for decades. Though trying to maintain a pretense of impartiality, Israel partisans like Ross working within such teams always managed to make the US appear to operate as "Israel’s lawyer." WINEP’s David Makovsky labored as a journalist and then executive editor of the Jerusalem Post reporting on the "peace process" before joining WINEP.

The rocket boosters for the new book’s delivery vehicles are lessons Makovsky and Ross reveal from decisions made by Israel’s "founding fathers." According to the book, whenever Israel was at an existential inflection point, David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon made near-unilateral and controversial decisions necessary for Israel to prevail.

For example, just prior to Israel’s declaration of statehood in 1948, David Ben-Gurion had to overcome opposition from the venerable US Secretary of State George Marshall. Marshall famously argued for a US funded plan to rebuild post-WWII Europe. Less known is that Marshall wanted "Zionists to delay declaration of statehood" based on department views of how to best advance US policy toward the Soviet Union and Arab states.

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Netanyahu & Gantz met with President Reuven Rivlin urging them to form a national unity government

Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage Before He Exits?

For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end?

Barring a last-minute upset as the final ballot papers are counted, Israelis have made their verdict clear: Netanyahu’s time is up.

In April’s inconclusive election, which led to this re-run, Netanyahu’s Likud party tied with its main opponent in the Blue and White party, led by retired general Benny Gantz. This time Gantz appears to have nudged ahead, with 33 seats to Netanyahu’s 31 in the 120-member parliament. Both parties fared worse than they did in April, when they each secured 35 seats.

But much more significantly, Netanyahu appears to have fallen short of the 61-seat majority he needs to form yet another far-right government comprising settler and religious parties.

His failure is all the more glaring, given that he conducted by far the ugliest – and most reckless – campaign in Israeli history. That was because the stakes were sky-high.

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WE Need to Pay Attention to What the Chinese Just Told Americans

How the Houthis overturned the chessboard

We are the Houthis and we’re coming to town. With the spectacular attack on Abqaiq, Yemen’s Houthis have overturned the geopolitical chessboard in Southwest Asia – going as far as introducing a whole new dimension: the distinct possibility of investing in a push to drive the House of Saud out of power.

Blowback is a bitch. Houthis – Zaidi Shiites from northern Yemen – and Wahhabis have been at each other’s throats for ages. This book is absolutely essential to understand the mind-boggling complexity of Houthi tribes; as a bonus, it places the turmoil in southern Arabian lands way beyond a mere Iran-Saudi proxy war.

Still, it’s always important to consider that Arab Shiites in the Eastern province – working in Saudi oil installations – have got to be natural allies of the Houthis fighting against Riyadh.

Houthi striking capability – from drone swarms to ballistic missile attacks – has been improving remarkably for the past year or so. It’s not by accident that the UAE saw which way the geopolitical and geoeconomic winds were blowing: Abu Dhabi withdrew from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s vicious war against Yemen and now is engaged in what it describes as a  “peace-first” strategy.

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Building 7 - The Achilles Heel - David Icke

Old News? New News? With Israel, It's all the Same

Zionist Noses.  According to the September 12, 2019  edition of the American political journal POLITICO, Israel "likely" placed cell phone surveillance devices around the White House and other "sensitive locations" in Washington, D.C.  The publication based its statement on three, unnamed, former senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter.  (The story, however, first broke in June 2018 in a variety of news outlets which noted that the devices, called "stingrays", had been detected the previous year.)

Stingrays are not fish but are, as Politico described them, devices "which mimic regular cell towers to fool cell phones into giving them their locations and identity information. Formally called international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use."  American police departments use them and such use has occasioned a series of lawsuits alleging violations of the 1st and 4th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights, regarding freedom of speech and warrantless searches.

Israeli officials, as is normally the case, denied any involvement.  Donald Trump also denigrated the "alleged" Israeli activities, saying "My relationship with Israel has been great...Anything is possible but I don't believe it."

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THE PENTAGON ATTACK PAPERS: THE TERROR CONSPIRACY

  1. And who in the U.S. military, intelligence and military contractor
  2. chains of command and U.S. civilian leadership in the Bush-Cheney
  3. Administration are among the prime suspects for these Acts of High
  4. Treason?

  5. First and foremost are the signatories of the pre-9/11 Project for
  6. a New American Century (PNAC) manifesto calling for “a new Pearl
  7. Harbor” to catalyze its radical right-wing global domination and domestic
  8. surveillance-and-control agenda: 1) Vice President Dick Cheney;
  9. 2) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; 3) then Deputy Secretary of
  10. Defense Paul Wolfowitz; 4) Richard Perle, then head of Secretary
  11. Rumsfeld’s Defense Policy Board; 5) Jerry Hauer, one of the U.S.
  12. government’s top bio-terrorism experts who reportedly took anti-anthrax
  13. Cipro to the White House on 9/11.15A Hauer had been director of NYC
  14. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM),
  15. whose personnel were moved to a New York pier on 9/11 just before its
  16. WTC7 offices were destroyed by pre-placed controlled demolition charges.
  17. A central player in scripting the bio-chem terrorism attack scenario for the
  18. Sept. 10/11/12 TRIPOD II exercise in NYC, Hauer is also an expert in
  19. the response to building collapses (New York Times, July 27, 1999).
  20. It was Hauer who insisted, despite the 1993 terrorist attack on WTC1,
  21. that Giuliani still locate his Office of Emergency Management, from which
  22. a response to another terrorist attack would be expected to be orchestrated,
  23. in WTC7 next door15B, and also Hauer who zealously pushed the ‘bin Laden
  24. did it and planes-and-fires brought down the Towers’ official story on CBS
  25. News on 9/11 in the immediate aftermath of the attacks before anyone
  26. without insider knowledge could have possibly determined the actual cause
  27. of the collapses, taking pains to state that explosives were not involved,
  28. when they were. The OEM opened on the 23rd floor of WTC7 in June 1999,
  29. where Hauer, its director, had his office. Hauer was also managing director
  30. of Kroll Associates before and on 9/11, the company that provided ‘security’
  31. for the World Trade Center, including all three buildings brought down by
  32. controlled demolition that morning, and thus had complete access to preplace
  33. the explosive charges he adamantly insisted on national TV on 9/11
  34. were not involved. Hauer became a National Security adviser to the
  35. National Institutes of Health on Sept. 10, the very day TRIPOD II personnel
  36. arrived in New York City , from which new NIH post he managed the Bush
  37. Administration’s ‘response’ to the imminent anthrax attacks and the
  38. initial cover up of the insider anthrax killers. 6) Gary Bauer, the rightwing
  39. ‘family values’ zealot who ‘happened’ to be one of the ‘witnesses’
  40. to immediately claim publicly to have seen ‘Flight 77 hit the Pentagon’,
  41. proven by the evidence to be a physical impossibility; and 7) then National
  42. Security Council Middle East adviser Zalmay Khalizad close to NSC
  43. Director Condolezza Rice, soon to be the first US Ambassador to
  44. Afghanistan after 9/11 and then U.S. Ambassador to Iraq – the very
  45. two countries whose invasions were rationalized as retaliation for the 9/11
  46. attacks. During the Cold War, Khalizad was reportedly a liaison to then
  47. CIA “bag man” Osama bin Laden in the CIA-Pakistani ISI-Saudi covert
  48. war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, the crucible from which al Qaeda
  49. later emerged. ‘Al Qaeda’, in fact, was originally the CIA’s and ISI’s
  50. list of anti-Soviet foreign fighters in Afghanistan.

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9/11 and the War on Terror - Michel Chossudovsky on GRTV

John Bolton Meets His Fate

John Bolton is everything you don’t want in a national security adviser. He is as stubborn as a rhinoceros, as crafty as a snake, and as dangerous as a scorpion.

Bolton’s is an extreme black-and-white view of the world: if you aren’t an ally of the United States, you are an adversary who needs a boot on your neck in the form of U.S. military force or economic sanctions. The second- and third-order strategic consequences are no obstacle in Bolton’s mind. Why go through the humiliating spectacle of negotiations when you can simply bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities or take out the Kim regime by force

Diplomacy, after all, is for wimps, spineless State Department bureaucrats, and appeasers. If the boss is insisting on diplomacy, then demand the moon, stars, and everything in between before offering a nickel of sanctions relief.

This is how John Bolton made his career: as the proverbial wrecking ball of arms control agreements—and indeed agreements of any kind. And he makes no excuses for it. Indeed, he takes prideful ownership of his views, seeing anyone who disagrees with him or who isn’t on his level as a weasel. Before Bolton joined the Trump administration as national security adviser, he was the short-lived ambassador to the United Nations and the undersecretary of state for arms control, where he attempted to get an intelligence analyst removed for disagreeing with his position on Cuba’s alleged biological weapons program.

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9/11 Whistleblowers: Michael Springmann

The Coming Drone War Over Lebanon

After two civil wars, multiple invasions and political assassinations galore, you might think Lebanon deserves a break from the greatest crisis since its last greatest crisis. But no – here we were this week with the Israelis claiming the Hezbollah were running a missile factory in the Bekaa Valley and the prime minister – the Lebanese one, not the Israeli – claiming that the world’s investors could put their money in his country even though this infinitely small nation has one of the world’s highest debt to GDP ratios. One-hundred-and-fifty per cent to be precise.

Saad Hariri, the prime minister in question – and yes, his father was indeed assassinated by a huge car bomb a few hundred metres from my own home in Beirut – has been trying to talk down the threat of a credit-rating downgrade just as Lebanon itself declared a “state of economic emergency” on Monday. It was his high-spending billionaire father who kicked off his country’s near-bankruptcy with a massive new city centre after the civil war had destroyed much of Beirut. That is the second civil war we are talking about. It lasted 15 years and cost around 150,000 lives. The figure, by the way, creeps up to 175,000, depending on the newspapers you choose to trust.

But the latest crisis in Lebanon has an almost unstoppable power. It started with two Israeli drones crashing into the southern suburbs of Beirut, where the Hezbollah has its headquarters, and much talk from “security experts” that the targets were Hezbollah missile-manufacturing locations. The Israelis have not said they used drones – which in Beirut means they have – but the Hezbollah produced video of a rocket apparently smashing into an Israeli armoured vehicle on the Israeli side of the southern Lebanese border. The Israelis said none of their soldiers were killed. The Hezbollah suggested two were mortally wounded.

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